The Power of AWS: Modernizing Legacy Technology for Increased Profitability

In today's rapidly changing business environment, organizations need to be agile in order to stay competitive. This means they need to quickly adapt to new market conditions and customer demands. One way that organizations can improve their agility is by moving to the cloud. Migrating to cloud may initially seem challenging or complex but in reality, cloud migrations are executed within a well constructed and orchestrated framework.

Watch this on-demand webinar to learn how AWS and Xerris can execute your cloud migration with low risk and high velocity to match your transformation objectives.


Key Takeaways


Modern businesses are facing growing pressure.

Companies have to innovate for their customers, respond quickly to market changes, and find ways to increase profitability, all while keeping data secure and complying with industry regulations.


Cloud native modernization is about agility and innovation.

AWS allows companies to get to market faster, lower TCO, achieve high performance and scalability, and maintain security and operational resilience.


Moving to the cloud with the right partner empowers your internal IT teams.

Your internal team should work alongside your partner during development and roll-out to add value after the engagement is over.


Because of the managed services, the burden on our internal team isn’t as much as you’d have traditionally.

Harshad Haron | Director, Digital Transformation and Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation



Tyson Koopman | SVP, North America Sales at Xerris, An Accolite Digital Company


Harshad Haron | Director, Digital Transformation and Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation


Bill Boora | Principal Specialist, Application Modernization at Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Episode Transcript

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Good morning and welcome to today's webinar. We'll be discussing The Power of AWS: Modernizing Legacy Technology for Increased Profitability.

I'm Bill Boora and I lead the Application Modernization Business Development for AWS in Canada. My team works with partners and customers across the country partners, such as Xerris to help organizations with modernization strategy, bridging business drivers to technology-based solutions, and support the customer's technical journey from proof of concept right through to production workloads.

I'm joined by Harshad Haron, the Director of Digital Transformation and Data Engineering at Trimac Transportation and Tyson Koopman Koopman, Senior VP, American Sales at Xerris, an Acolyte Digital Company. Harshad, would you be able to have you introduce yourself and a little bit about Trimac?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Thanks both for sure. I'll talk about Trimac a bit. To start, Trimac, we began in 1945, a small trucking company based in Saskatchewan. It's now grown to be one of the largest transportation companies in North America, with roughly 140 branches across Canada and US. We have now grown to be a high quality bulk shipping solution provider. We're proud to provide an essential service to our supply chain.

And a bit about myself, I've been with Trimac for roughly six years now. My current role, I've been in it for roughly three years, and hope to share today how we went through our digital transformation journey.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Awesome, thank you, Harshad, and excited to hear a little bit more about the Trimac journey as we go along. Tyson, about Xerris, and you’re recently acquired as well, so I'd love to hear about that.

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Absolutely, thanks, Thanks, Bill. So Tyson Koopman, I'm our Senior Vice President of North American Sales here at Xerris as well as for our parent company, Accolie Digital. Xerris was founded in Calgary, Canada, 2019, and really when we launched we had a singular mission that was focusing on helping companies to break down technical barriers. You produce radical innovation, really working with them to help them re-imagine how their digital businesses would be formed. And how the adoption of key technologies in places like cloud, AIML data could really help kind of shape what our customers were able to do, in terms of building new revenue, in terms of cost management, predictability on a whole bunch of different elements within the enterprise.

For us, product engineering is at the heart of our capabilities, as well as cloud migration modernization, both within the migration, and as a separate stream, as well as design thinking and advisory, for digital evolution.

And really, what I'm most proud of at Xerris is that we've helped dozens and dozens of customers kind of rethink what critical technology would look like, what the adoption path would be, and how that could really drive transformation for their organizations. And we're really proud to work with great customers, like Trimac, to help bring those ideas to life.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Awesome, thanks, Tyson. And I think the point about technology and modernization and transformation all really roll back into what sort of business outcomes are we able to drive? And so, during this session, we're really excited to share both the AWS and Xerris perspectives on business challenges that are leading customers to consider modernization and how Cloud and various technologies are going to provide opportunity, Not just to reduce your costs, but also to help innovate.

Harshad will share Trimac’s modernization journey, one that began with no cloud native footprint at all, to really become an organization that has confidence in not only building on the cloud, but also challenging some of the decisions that are being made. And some of the key decisions, such as what, what to do with AWS platform partners, organizational readiness, and just even how to get started. We'll talk about our, he'll talk about some of the challenges and outcomes of their journey.

Then we'll also explore the critical role that Xerris played in Trimac’s modernization and where they may be able to help yourselves along your own modernization journey.

The session is being recorded, and will be shared after the event. Feel free to ask questions in the chat.

We'll have a Q and A session towards the end, towards the end of the webinar.

All right, so, what I'm going to do is spend a little bit of time on the AWS perspective.

Change the slide in the background, please. Thank you. So, I'll provide a little bit of perspective from AWS, and what we are seeing in the market. What customers are experiencing now, and essentially, when we, when we look across all industries and segments, organizations are pressured, in a number of different ways. One of these is innovating on behalf of the customers, and this really is an area where your product, teams might see the most impact. One is needing to support multiple channels, So digital channels, new products ensuring a similar experience goes across each of these platforms. So users can be up to date anywhere, anytime, anyplace the mobile experience is becoming critical and ensuring that that experience’s is always improving.

And that means getting features and capabilities out the door quickly. Moving from release cycles, that might be every six months, down to monthly, weekly, or even daily. And that's all putting pressure, like I said, on your product teams, as well. As on just being more agile, and getting your staff productivity increased.

Being able to respond quickly to events and insights.

So if I look across the retail industry, for example. More frequently, we're seeing big, big sales. Whether it's a concert going up for per Ticketmaster, Black Friday, there may be events such as weather related events in the airline industry, that's causing flight delays. And that really is going to be triggering a lot of response being required to rebook ticket, to change gate notifications, flight crew, that sort of thing. On the retail side of things, like I said. scaling up in response to to big sales, but also having a more smooth experience for customers as they checkout. For example, all those back end things happening behind the scenes. And a customer gets response quickly. So this is not only increasing the frequency of things happening, and being able to responsd and scale up, but it's also giving us a lot of data in which previously may have just been stored. But now needs to be acted upon getting insights.

This could be sentiment analysis when somebody calls in for customer support, but it might also be used for predictability. And, in some ways, providing the best, um, the best choice of approach.

And then data transformation. This is really a lot of automation. So automating the insurance, for example, the first notification of loss, all of that stuff, being input by a customer, and then being used as insights after.

Being secure, resilient, and compliant: this means identifying risks and threats before they happen. Security’s just generally something that customers are always focused on, but then add in regulatory compliance.

The big one that we're seeing in terms of, of all industries, and more so, now that we're into this economic situation is around profitability.

So, that means not just your cost of the single unit of goods by being able to scale globally. A lot of organizations have done mergers and acquisitions, which is resulting in the need to integrate those acquisitions. Digital contracts and supply chains, vendor consolidation. And I'm going to talk about cost reduction. This also talks about the overall cost, which is not just the unit, like I talked about, but the overall development costs, the training costs, and all those things that go with it. 

And so, when we think about all of these challenges, the biggest challenge that we see are, the inhibitor to organizations being able to modernize is that CIOs claimed that 75% of their developers and operational stuff is spent doing operational work.

That means managing servers, patching and that sort of thing, and only 20%, or 25%, is being done for innovation.

Next slide, please.

And so, this is where cloud native modernization is really going to help, around not only reducing costs, but also agility and innovation. So, being able to get to market quicker and focusing on what the business needs, paying only for values. So, when we think about managed services from AWS or cloud native solutions, which may be serverless, you're only paying for what you use. High performance and scalability is architected in the platform. So when we talked earlier about Black Friday sales or weather related events, being able to scale your system up when that occurs and scaling it back down. It's in there by design. And security and operational resilience is already there so you don't have to worry about that as an organization.

So, when we talk about these different challenges that their customers are having, Harshad, can you share some challenges that Trimac and maybe potentially others within the trucking industry, faced that signaled that modernization might be a path for Trimac?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, for sure.

Trimac is part of the broader supply chain, and if you watch the news, there's an acute focuse on the supply chains, Customers are expecting more from us, they want us to do more for them. They demand real-time, proactive, transportation solutions.

They want us to be their partners to help support their businesses and their customers' customers. So, this ecosystem is sort of widening. 75 years in trucking and now it's changed completely where the pressures are more digital. People are asking us to sort of participate in this digital economy, essentially.

And then, on the other side, are employees. The drivers and the customers all expect more, because they're exposed to their digital, sort of, to the digital world, personally, professionally, to their networks. And that question to us as well, how can you not do X, Y, and Z, essentially? Right?

Then you layer in the fact that there's demographic headwinds where access to skilled drivers. We haul hazardous materials, so we can't have access to all the driver pulls, our pool is really shrinking.

We have employees that need to sort of manage this sort of supply chain. All of these are proving to be challenging, not just for us, but other trucking companies or transportation.

So our ability to attract and attract and retain talent is part of our sort of our MO to operate for the next 75 years, for example. So with all of these sort of diverse factors, our executive team has, thankfully, decided to make pointed investments, you know, that not just keep pace, but help, absolutely, right?

And perhaps be a leader in this sort of, and not just the supply chain the industry, but in the ecosystem in general, right? So they send out a mandate of wanting to innovate, to disrupt.

So we can use that as our banner, and as I sit on the east side, with these broad declarations that we want to innovate to disrupt technology, better customer experiences, the only things that I can think about is, how do I enable such a thing?

Trimac will never grow to have, like a very large IT team to support this diverse portfolio of assets, right, so we looked at our people, processes, and tooling, and to an environment where the host organization Trimac can support, right, and give them what they are hoping for, And so all these sort of macro economic factors, demographics, demands, all lead to the conclusion that we need to change.

But having the backing of the executive team sort of give us that last push.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Great, thanks. Thanks. And Tyson, as a partner, you, you must work with a number of customers. Can you provide you know, some of the insights that you've seen as a partner?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yeah.

It's, you know, our customers, they're so intimate with their business models, with their customer of customer, with the needs that they have around whether its growth, scaling into new markets, market segments. And, you know, where we're an organization like Xerris typically comes into help is, when you think about innovation. Innovation is not one and done. It's iterative, occurs over time, and largely, the focus of innovation is to really kind of provide a competitive advantage for any organization or modern enterprise. And so, when you think about what's underneath that, you know, your enterprise is really looking at a few factors that they're trying to solve for. You've got the need to increase your speed of time to value. So, in other words, if we're trying to solve for a challenge that may be opening a new revenue stream within a customer, it may be cost management. It may be an extension of capability, Any one of these number of elements. The faster that you can do it, the more accurately that you can do it.

That's the place where you start to not only realize the longer term TCO but also the ROI that you're looking for as an organization and other elements that maybe inside of your specific Balance Sheet within a given vertical. I think the second one is really the reduction of risk.

We work with so many companies that have talented practitioners and technical leads, and management executives, and they know how to get things done day over day, right? They've, they've been doing this for a long time. And their expertise is not in question, but when you start to move into the new technologies, especially around things like modernization and getting into some very, very advanced architectures and modern architectures.

There's having a guide to help you with, you know, what is the selection of the prenumerations? How do we really kind of organize the efforts? Are there modern methods that need to be applied in order for us to help with that acceleration. That's where a consulting organization, like Xerris and Accolie Digital, would come into really help assist our customers go faster and reduce the risk.

And the final one, is really kind of looking around corners.

If you think about, at the core of innovation, is this idea that, you know, you're from the future, and in the future, we don't do things the way that we used to.

Part of that may be occurring in your own industry or within your own enterprise, and part of it is, there's the opportunity to learn from others.

It's really interesting when we work with, with, across our base of customers who are in mixed industries, where there are examples of, you know, what, what would at least initially appear to be really unique challenges they're trying to solve within their vertical, for example.

And then you take a look at that, and that  that solution set, really has some fungibility, you know, We could move, for example, from an energy industry customer, into a transportation customer into a mining customer and there's you know some refactoring required, but that the nature of the problem and the application of modern methods and technology can actually solve that.

And so you put all those things together, and really what it does is it, know, as a consulting partner. It allows us to really kind of help customer open the aperture on, how fast can we really go? How much can we reduce the risk? And then ultimately, are there things that, you know, we would build versus potentially have to buy versus potentially, you'll be able to borrow, right? To help speed that time to solution.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And so these are all really great consideration. So Harshad as your team looked at, modernizing. Right. So let me just kinda paint the picture here, you've identified the need to modernize or at least your executive has. Can you walk us through a little bit in terms of, as the business and technical teams identified, areas of modernization, what approach did you take to defining your target state. Like, we know that, you know, some customers might take a path of just lifting and shifting their existing applications up to the cloud. Others might want to be refactor them, and completely rewrite. There's an organizational element to all of this, can kind of walk us through what the thought process was at Trimac?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, for sure.

I guess, for us, or for me personally, and our IT team, we didn't know what the supply chain is going to do, what the executive would want to do, how they would sort of interpret what they wanted from us, right?

So, my focus was to help the business sort of adapt to change, right? So no matter what path they take, we enable them, by, sort of, investing in our ability to, so change quickly or reduce the lead times to giving them production ready applications, or services, right?

So we did a lot of self reflection, primarily, before we reached out to AWS, or any partner. We created a team, a small set up, that included all the different verticals. And then we sort of went through our own business knowledge of what we understood the organization to be, and then notionally came up with an idea of where we'd would like to be.

But thankfully, like, what we were doing wasn't novel, right? So other industries have gone through these changes. You can look at any number of research, whether it's Gartner, or any sort of well documented best practices out there that shows you what an elite organization looks like.

So we notionally sort of figured out what that was. And then we invested in our people, getting them comfortable in understanding the environment, investing in their ability to sort of challenge, or propose new solutions, right? So the threshold for me was, once I felt the team was self confident in challenging a partner or AWS and how they would sort of interpret or have an opinionated view of our deployments, then I thought we were ready to start having these conversations with our partners and AWS.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And I assume that that required a little bit of training and upskilling your teams.

Can you talk a little bit, about like what was this looking to train up on AWS fully, or like were there certain areas that you really wanted to your teams to focus in on?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, we focused in on those like if you look at the research on Dora, it mentioned, like, you know, uh, you need a decoupled architecture. What does that mean for us, essentially? So we have this high, broad statements, but we wouldt have to translate it to something that is meaningful to Trimac.

Because the people we had had, say, 50 years, collectively off running IT for a transportation company, right? These facts don't change. We will remain to be a transportation company. But how we sort of organize the data manager deployment, enables sort of tapping into all the cloud services that are out there. Be to Kubernetes, or ECS, or ETS, right?

We went in fully aware of what we wanted to do. But we gave the team the ability to choose those technologies that they were comfortable with. And they went on their journeys to life, sort of pick their own certifications for technology that they thought were relevant to Trimac

They reached out to their network. What we found surprisingly, was they were already doing this activity on their own. And once we proposed these sort of ideas, they were willing participants, essentially So, so rather than us forcing them these cloud technologies, they were already trying their best to figure it out on their own.

So, there was a happy coincidence there.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: That's great, Harshad, Thanks, So, at this point, we're going to do a quick poll to get some feedback from you on the line.

Just in terms of what challenges are preventing or slowing down your adoption of cloud and associated modernization efforts within your Organizations, So if you just maybe take a few minutes, or a few seconds here, to put down your considerations.

Do we, do we have the results for the poll?

OK, so a lot of, a lot of governance and compliance security.

Practitioner expertise, yeah.

And funding. So, it's interesting, It's not a lot of the business case development side of things.

OK, so, let's talk about that a little bit more then.

We'll talk a little bit about that as we go along.

At this point, Harshad. I wanted to talk a little bit about you as a technology leader, right? So, you've identified that transformation is going to be important. You've started to get your team's upscaled and familiar with the Cloud. We know that talking to different organizations, doing a Big Bang approach to modernization, isn't really one that's going to be successful, long term. And so, how did you, as a technology leader, approach your organization to influence that transformation strategy? Did you get started with an organizational transformation? Or did you choose an application or figure out some area that you wanted to focus in on to drive the outcomes.

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, sure, Bill.

So for us, so we knew, we needed, we knew that we needed to transform, right?

We need to modernize, but we didn't, we couldn't go to the business saying, look, I need to do Cloud computing, I need to do continued modernization I knew to do X Y and Zed. But I need to give it meaning to them, right?

So, but we knew the value of investing in this. So I had to give them a pound of flesh, if you will, right, So, we proposed to them a use case, but the use case had to house particular characteristics while we were identifying that while we were administering that internally, Right. So, we wanted to pick a use case that wasn’t mission critical, that wouldn’t take the company down.

So, we, we wanted to find one that was broad enough that would have, uh, that would allow us to sort of test the limits so far, sort of all our applications, the data, and the compute right. And, we also did not want us to stress our internal IT team with a complicated migration, because we wanted to give them the ability to make mistakes and not cause damage to the business sense.

So, the use case that we looked around, we tried to focus on the personas within the organization and then we landed on our beloved Dispatchers, and we realize that are Dispatcher's have no, have a material impact on the organization as a whole?

For us, in transportation, you could have the best strategy, the best equipment, the best tooling, but the dispatcher makes those decisions for us every hour of every day and they have interactions with the customer and a driver.

So we thought it would be a good idea to sort of enable them, right?

That will have compounding effects, whether it's driver expedience, customer experience, proactive reaction to our customers, and they can make what we hope are profitable choices, right?

So, that's the use case we focused on and cause our dispatcher is central to our operation, the brains of our operations, if you will, we were able to pitch that idea to the to the executive saying, let's present to our dispatchers, a single pane of glass, right, that allows them to not just not just gather the sort of information from different systems, but it also enables them to make insights towards that.

It was a win-win for us because we had an exact use case that the executives liked.

And they saw what they wanted to get, which is modernizing for profitability, and give IT a good use case, a use case that would be complex enough to stress our sort of new deployments, our methodologies, or assumptions. and it was real-time, and we had a willing participant. The dispatcher was an internal customer, but that would not sort of tolerate either areas or have high expectations in real-time nature, because trucking is an outdoor sport. If it rained yesterday, it doesn't matter if I need to know today's dollars.

So, when you look at all those factors, we landed on that sort of use case, one complex enough for our IT team, but if f it failed, it didn't matter because the company wants to run.But if it succeeded, it gives you that outsize gains off enabling the dispatcher. And be enabling the IT team to experiment and try out new technology.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Yeah, great, great. And when we, when we look back to some of the challenges we talked about earlier, I guess the dispatch system would need to be scalable in the sense that you may have a weather related event that's going to impact a number of trucks that are on the road, near, obviously, needed to be reliable, profitable as well.

And so that's, I think the application that you've chosen would definitely touch on a number of, of business enabling items. And so   as you went through this, at what point in the journey did Trimac start to seek assistance from a partner? And what were the key items that you looked at for the partner to support?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, so, So what we had was a concept. Right? So a concept that we create this sort of engine that pre process the insights for our workforce. Not only that, we also have to make it personalized. So if a driver is having an issue, it's not every dispatcher that needs to know about it. one particular dispatcher needs to know about it.

And as you sort of iterate through this process, you find that it gets complicated. Having the concept is great, but the devil is in the details. And our team, although we had good understanding of what the environment was, doing it andmaking it production ready wasn't something that we were ready to take on yet.

So, to de-risk it, and to accelerate this sort of deployment, and to start giving the internal employees access to other soft skills around Agile development, for example, right? Whether it's QA, or requirements gathering, UX design, these are all stuff that we didn't have internally.

So, we needed to complement our team with an external partner, and that's when we decided to reach out to the AWS Partner Network, and Xerris came about through that.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Then, so, so, when you were looking at your partner and Xerris came up, they were recommended, how did you assess Xerris as a partner? And what factors ultimately lead you to choose Xerris to be that partner to move forward with.

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, sure, So, I guess, Trimac, although a large company, we're sort of spread out to different communities across North America, right? So we tend to focus we're a big company with a small community focus, essentially. So that's sort of pervasive through the organization.

We were also aware of Xerris through their work in the local Calgary community, where they, how local tech talent. So, we notionally knew about them, but we didn't consider them as a partner yet, until we did start with the AWS partner network, We gave them the profile of what, kind of partner we were looking like, a rough understanding of a use case And having, you know, the ability to conceptualize and present some sort of a proof of concept to get that backing.

And we would also hoping to learn through these interactions with them, so we thought, among the choices we had Xerris was the best fit for us.

They were just the right size, the right sort of value proposition, and the right local community.So, we've all sort of added together that made him a good fit for us.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Well, and so what, what did that, that engagement with zara's look like, in terms of actual execution?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: So the, the way we worked it out, the logistics of it all was, we started with a small, two week sort of ideation phase just to get them an understanding of Trimac, what we were hoping for for this application, what it will entail, what sort of requirements we had all conceptual, all conceptual ideas, Right?

So, they used that two weeks to figure out what we could do for what they could do for us.And we like what we saw. Whatever they proposed to us, was pretty interesting, So we signed first with a 16 week engagement.

And we did that multiple times, essentially, in case the business did not see the value of this, we wanted to give the business the option to not continue, But the business loved it.

So, like the application got broad visibility within the organization, there was requirements to do more out of it. So, we ended up doing a year with them, essentially.

And then the mechanics of it was, we essentially, sequestered our IT team, a part of writing, application development, business analysis, QA, the business sponsors, essentially, they will hope they were part of this sort of new partner that we know, we essentially had doubled our IT team through the Xerris workforce, right?

But through each phase of the Agile development, we had 1 or 2 Trimac employees as part of that.

They were able to interact with Xerris, understand how these new style of development work. How do we do deployments? How do we gather requirements? All this stuff that, you know, are, add value once Xerris left, essentially?

So, after the engagement ended, we just continued on the process. We were on a smaller scale. We had our own internal employees just pick up where Xerris are left off, right?

And should the business say, Hey, we want to scale up again, then we can go back to zero, then hopefully do the same work over and over. So, it was effectively seamless.

I think, for the value for us, that through doing it this way, was the ability to support an application.

The business may not realize that this has left, but we're able to do enhancements, make quick fixes, and provide them a stable, real-time environment, which is not easy to do. The beauty of it all, though, is that, because of the managed services, the burden on the team isn't as much as you would have traditionally, right? So we are able to configure the environment to make it scale or self heal, and we have not had major outages. So that's sort of a win-win for us, as well.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And that's awesome to hear. And I think that that touches on one of the things that we see often when, at least when I speak to customers, is that our customers have teams in place that have developed and done IT for many years. They don't have the Cloud experience. And being able to have a partner like Xerris come in, help the team work side-by-side with the team, but then also be able to roll off and let that team be sustainable. That's powerful. So we've seen a lot of that happen. Tyson. Is this engagement that you had with Trimac typical of what Xerris experiences, any similarities or additional challenges that you see customer facing?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yeah, Bill, I would, there's a few things that I would point to in here, and I'm gonna start outside of the technology in of itself.

One of the things that Harshad mentioned that was really, really important in this was, they took a working backwards view from what the customer was and what the stakeholder outcomes were

And it's one of the things that you heard Harshad described was there was actually multiple customers that you are trying to solve different challenges for. The actual outcome of the solution meant that you had this ability to kind of do it in a modular fashion, which you described earlier.

But just going back to, it would be very easy to kind of say, well, the ultimately, the customer is going to be our executive or the board, Where ultimately, the customer is going to the customer customer, the people that we deliver to ship to, and I think one of the, one of the experiences that we very commonly run into, which Trimac demonstrate here, is, you can have multiple customers that you're trying to solve this for. So if you think about the driver experience, for example, to Trimac, the driver experience was not just about the driver efficiency. It was also potentially retaining and attracting talent, it was ease of operations for them. You move into supply chain. There's potential implications for, you know, how do we, you know, procure, manage contracts, source any, one of a number of things based on new data and new information that we have as a result of operating in this way? And that kind of richness of, of, you know, who is the customer and what are we solving for?

Just like at Trimac, that's really a key thing that we will run into as a partner is just really helping our customers kind of sort through what does the customer really look like? What are we actually solving this for, and what will the impact for them be?

I think the second thing is data.

Data is one of those terms kinda thrown around widely and broadly, and can mean a whole bunch of different things to different people, But the power of data, and being able to unlock insights that may be contained within it, can also help kind of shape not only how you operate, but how you might think about your next stage of innovation or how you might think about things that you could be doing that may not be doing right now. Because he previously felt they were limited with the data that you had. Any gain with Trimac this, this particular project, really brought to life, the importance of being able to, not just mine the data, but really helped to organize it, and then automate the data, and could have put it to use like, make it very, very powerful. So you can rotate decisions around it.

Really, really important one in here as well is that, when Harshad was talking about kind of the way the engagement rolled out, we have different ways that we can actually do our delivery. Right? We can do this in a pod and sprint format with agile.We have, you know, any one of, a number of, kind of avenues that we can explore in terms of delivering the results. But what sits above that, that was really important to Trimac and we really see where a lot of successful customers is be really, really rigorous with the vision and be flexible in the details.

And I think that's, that's a really important lesson for anyone who was actually thinking about modernization projects is you're going to move forward and as you get into richer data, richer detail you start thinking about you know, advanced automation. You start thinking about event driven technology. All these different elements opened the door to thinking a little bit differently and as you go along, we'll kind of reshape and potentially reshape the path that you want to use to get there.

And so, I think for, you know, again, for Trimac and for many, many other customers, that detail is really important to stay fixated on what the vision is. What you're delivering for your customers, what they want those rigorous outcomes to be. And then, be flexible on how we get there. And work with a partner that has, you know, the structure, the delivery capability, the project management and QA capability to really bring that to life, right? Can be agile, and can kind of work through ambiguity as certain things will start to form without increasing cost or risk or any one of a number of elements that will ultimately make for a less successful project as you go forward.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Great. Thanks Tyson. And so as we look through kind of the engagement with Trimac and are shown as you mentioned, you had number of different stakeholders come to the table with Business technology and others. You had a Champion as well. If you invest in your talent or can you talk a little bit in terms of the outcomes. What are some of the lasting outcomes? Now that Xerris has set you up for some ongoing success.

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yeah, sure.

I guess as I related earlier, we notionally had an idea of what we will be doing.

But we found some of those assumptions are wrong, so one good outcome of it was that we didn't have to make those mistakes that we would have made, where Xerris was able to come in, and sort of sort of teach people how to do it.

What that meant for us is now our talent is a little bit more smarter and able to use this environment, and they feel self confident in knowing how to use AWS or the cloud technologies out there to enable their day-to-day jobs.

The other thing I would say is, as we learn more of our environment, our ability to sort of tweak that cost optimization, manage it to the business value that it’s generating, is also getting better, right? So we did it once.

But since the time that Xerris was here to today, we probably rebuilt and change the environment to meet our sort of application demands.

The other things I would say the businesses are starting to see is our ability to deliver in shorter timeframes, and because AWS has a breadth of services, it really doesn't matter what they're looking for, with its user experience analytics, opening up new channels, right?

And as these technologies mature, as more and more managers, so managed services start popping up, our teams aren't overburdened, so I've gotten like multiples on my developer productivity, and the business doesn't see a big bill coming out of it because they know we are able to sort of manage those costs.

The other part that we learned was the change management piece. What we didn't get to understand earlier was, we changed IT, but we did not sort of communicate that, to the business. So, we did this, agile sprint is expecting feedback, but the feedback never came.

And then we realized that we had to do a better job of sort of communicating out, communicating out to the business that the old paradigm of, you know, Here it is, you get it for three years, we'll see you the next upgrade, isn't there anymore.

It's more, “this is what you're getting for this two weeks. What would you like to see in the next two weeks,” is the possibility now.

So, yeah.

So those are the outcomes I think between IT and the business, we're sort of which this happy place where we sort of enabling them to do what they need.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And it sounds like you've been able to establish by vibrating that collaboration and what the business by getting to market quicker this real flywheel of innovation going, right?

So Tyson, can you discuss kind of the role of the advisory and consulting consulting services solutions? Sorry, the role of the advisory component of Xerris in driving these long term transformations? And maybe, if you could touch on, if we go back to that survey, you know, security governance, and these sort of things. How do these all fit into that advisory side of things?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yeah, it's, you know, when we think about, actually, I want to utilize an AWS concept here. I know, Bil, l yourself and other from AWS may be familiar with which is the, the one way to a decision making paradigm for one way to way doors. And one of the things that you're always looking at, from a consultative standpoint, when we're helping our customers with modernization, or even move to cloud, is, you know, first of all, identification of, what, those, one way versus two-way door, you know, challenges and decision points would be. And so, in particular, when you get into things like the cloud governance model. And how they would interface with, you know, either regulatory requirements inside of your business, because obviously security considerations for both in the cloud and of the cloud to be thought of.

And the point being is that the consultative approach we have to take is not just about, you know, how do you accurately deploy the technology, but How will those decisions interface with other parts of your business operations. And so, you know, one of the one of the key areas that we like to focus in on at Xerris, says, yes, we have technical excellence. We have operational excellence. We have continuous improvement. We have all the things that kind of need for technical petitioner, high level to go and make these things happen. But you also require the business analysis. You require the QA. You require any one of a number of things that will happen at kind of the architecture and well architected levels to ensure that not only are you kinda manifesting the right technology to solve the challenge, but you're also manifesting technology in a way hat is going to not introduce or at least reduce the amount of introduction of potential one-way doors where it becomes harder to kind of unwind the decision, especially as it relates to things like security, governance, and regulatory.

And I think, you know, the other things that really kind of come out the other side of that is that, we talked a little bit earlier about how innovation is kind of this continuous process, right. You're never really done innovation. You started and then you're continuously iterating it from next stage to next stages as you go forward for, you, know, capability, or you are trying to grow any one of a number of business initiatives that you would have. And the really important part here is that you are also setting up this structure, which is an advisory function that says, you know, do we have cloud cost management in place? Aa CBO, if you will, a cloud budget office, Are we? thinking about what's our financial operations are going to look like? Because, of course, if one of the things we're positioning as organizations to be able to deliver a better revenue result, or a better cost control result. you know, you have an impact of of modernizing inside of the cloud. And we want to make sure that, you know, as we go forward or we kinda delivering on what we invested versus the return on that investment. And be able to think about, “where do we want to make the key investments going forward?”. All right, so you've got a model for all of that, and you've got governance over it.

And I think, you know, the other thing is really having this, I mean, this element of the, you know, the cloud engineering office says, one of the things Harshad was referring to. Is it, you know, he had this operational team where they, they were sophisticated, they understood what they were doing in their current world. And then they had this opportunity to kind of increase their overall business impact of the business by being able to point to technology outcomes that were matched to business challenges, that previously, you know, we didn't think were solvable an organization or not easily solvable. And so, again, the whole idea of like, well, what does, what does the enterprise technology function look like? What is looking around, corners look like?

All of these things are really, really important elements that are success factors in in where advisory from a company like, like Xerrist can really help our customer organizations and help them kind of sort through what should be prioritized. Are we thinking about these elements of budget? Are we thinking about these elements of advanced engineering? And then to Harshad’s point are we also ensuring that we are pulling it forward into the organization, and helping our customers make that a core part of their DNA. So they can continue to operate over the long tail, and continue that path of innovation as they go forward.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And, and so Harshad, like we've talked a lot about the dispatch application. We've, we've talked about organizational transformation and self confidence now of your team. What's next for ..., now that you've kind of proven out the value of the cloud to your organization?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah.

So, for, from my vantage point, I think it could be very interesting really, now. We, we in IT now have the ability to deliver, right? And, like you mentioned, our self confidence to build, support, deploy, secure, Manage our costs, shorten the lead cycles. And, Altogether not burn out our teams, it's made us in a much stronger position, right. Now, we, in IT, can go to the business and they are seeing in us and a partner that can essentially deliver. Right?

We looked at the business, to see which way they want to go now. Right? It could be anything or everything, like whether it's channels or CMS, or more, more work on the Support Center side, more analytics.

So, the breadth is there now, so we are less concerned about the what now, where we can go to the business, approaching them, to see what they would like to see or what outcomes they would like to see.

And we can, IT can be more confident compared to where we were, say, three years ago, where we had no skill sets, no funding, and no sort of understanding of the environment, and what would be left over after a partner left.

So we're on the other side of the fence Now where we are able to do and manage productivity.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: That's great. And so, Jason, similar question to you.

I think, in Canada, we've seen customers take the first step to the cloud, really being a lift and shift and almost replicating what they've got on premise. As we've seen, cloud computing has accelerated the pace of innovation. There's new services capabilities coming out all the time. There's gen AI, on the horizon, in your, in your opinion. What's next in the future of cloud? And what is Xerris, yourselves doing to prepare yourselves for this next phase?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yes. You know, if I were, if I didn't really kinda pick maybe three areas that I think are going to be really important for our customers. We have a lot of dialog with them. They're starting to kind of think about, you know, again, what would their innovation motions or even experiments look like in there. The first one is kind of what I'll call the next level of data. There's been a very big focus over the past 10 years on getting data organized, getting it cost optimized that can be structured or unstructured. That can move into things like data lakes and data warehousing, depending on the customer, put all that together. That kind of first stage of really getting organized was really important, right? It's a very foundational element, but with the advent of things like generative AI, with the advent of industry specific ML initiatives, you know, this idea that we need to not just have the data and have it organized and available, and not just be analyzing it. But we need to automate the outcomes, right?

So how do we kind of get to output, which drives organizational productivity? It drives enhancements in potentially, you know, everything, from helping to build out intellectual capital to any one of a number of elements in the enterprise. That piece is really, really important. So they're not just buzzwords and they're an area where as a, as an organization Xerris and Accolite Digital are heavily focused on investing in which is really helping to take that idea of data outcomes that are automated and driving those through any one of a number of venues that would be AI ML driven in particular. 

I think a second one is democratization of the builder's experience. When we think about cloud, we think about AWS. AWS is the deepest, widest, broadest set of platform services in the industry, which can lead to, you know, millions of combinations and pernumerations when you want to build something. And when we think about kind of a technologist and practitioners, you know, they're building that skill sets, targets comment, right? They're becoming really confident and working with it. But increasingly, as you kind of think about technology, moving up into the business and starting to point at challenges, they can solve it in the business. We're starting to see the pattern of you're also seeing, you know, different, different parts of the business can be shared services or in specific business units, where they also want to participate in the technology layer. And so the democratization of things like low code, no code, the ability for them to help kind of do advanced reporting or even automation on cost management. There's a bunch of different elements there, where they're kind of pushing more broadly in the organization, and so the focus on ensuring that democratization is in place and that we're supporting not just technology teams for the business more broadly on how do they participate in? That is an important area of focus for us.

And I think the final one would be, you know, when we look at, kind of, you know, the next five years, you have increasingly seen a lot of enterprises that, you know, they may have been in business, you know, 50 or 75 years, 100 years. They have a well established business model within verticalization But they are also looking at how do they kind of changed the shape and nature of their offerings to become more annuity-l ike, to be able to deliver experiences for their customers. And even for their internal teams, that are are much more of, kind of like a, an independent software vendor type of format even though their traditional enterprise.

And so helping customers with this idea of, if you're going to build and you're going to modernize and you're going to establish, you know, kind of long term sustainment engineering on applications that look very different than what they used to be right. You may have your customers subscribing to that particular application. And so, it needs the resiliency, it needs to scale, it needs the ability to be iterated on very quickly.

And at that point being is that as an organization we're spending a lot of time on, you know, how do we kind of get that as a service factory, or our customers? Because the kind of old, let's create something that is software engineering and software development, excellent products, is really moving into cloud foundations and starting to extend to, you know, how do we make that recoverable revenue as a customer? How do we make it an annuity kind of format for our customers? And, so, you know, being builders for the builders, if you will, is a really important next step for us as well, and somewhere where we have a long heritage.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: And I think that being builders for builders is a really important concept, especially as you talked about the need for scalability and reliability moves into event driven architectures and the automation side of things. So, going over to some of the questions that we've got from the audience. I'm gonna direct the first one to Harshad

You talked about your journey into AWS. We've got about 200 different services so there's something for everyone. You also talked about how managed services was helping, avoid burnout for your teams. How did you and often, the first choice customers make when they move to cloud, is their choice of compute. How did you settle on, or make the decisions between going for self managing some stuff on EC2, relative to EKS and Kubernetes And why not serverless? For example, can you maybe just touch a little bit on your choice of technology?

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Yeah, for sure, We did land on EKS. Kubernetes was sort of the deciding factor for choice of compute. How we ended up there was, we went through the path of microservices, containerization, using Docker. And then we need the orchestrator. Right. So, we landed in having to need a an orchestrator.

We could have done our own Kubernetes deployment. We could have done ECS, we put it on EKS, but we found EKS to be a good middle ground, right. I think we, at the earliest stages, we weren't sure how this cloud, how the cloud migrate, all this cloud attempt would go out, right?

So, but the application developers would spend a lot of time writing code that's relevant for the business. So, we did not want to focused on something that we wouldn't have back on premise, say. For example, if we failed, right? So it was keeping in mind an exit strategy. Like should it not work out? Can we still salvage some value out of that?

Then, why the managed services is because we didn't really want to manage the compute and the patching and that, and the compute itself, and let us manage it, give our developers the freedom to create these containerized deployments and let us take the, take it over.

If, for whatever reason, it didn't work out or we needed to take that core back, we would still have the ability to deploy our own Kubernetes.

And the other part was serverless. For us at the time was too far a jump. We run virtual machines, and for our assistant for team, Kubernetes was sort of a natural progression. And that's not to say we don't use Lambda today. We do use Lambda for certain use cases, but for the initial phases for our microservices, we landed on EKS.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Right. Great. Thank you. So, So, here's one and I think the survey responses resoundingly indicated that data governance is the most important challenge in the modernization process.

Can Harshad or Tyson speak to how metadata cataloging And data modeling can be established or improved and maintained as part of the modernization process?

That might be a separate topic all on its own, but you can take a stab at that, Tyson?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Yeah, it's a, it's a meaty one.

When we think about kind of the act of, I think you have to come up to a higher order question is actually what it is. And the first one is, you know, do we have data taxonomy and data classification? Right? So, you have to kind of establish, you know, what are going to be the patterns of access, what arerights of ownership, what has to be kind of retained, and what sort of model over a period of time. And then, as you drop down through that piece of the puzzle, if you while you're solving for data, you need to really kind of drop down into, you know, is it organized for the use pattern? To The point of tagging, you know, tagging becomes very important as we start to think about, not just the principles of ownership, but the principles of data movement based, data will move across the life cycle. And, so, all of those elements are, you know, they're kind of critical.

Because, if you think about the data continuum, I ingest data through any one of a number of means, right?

I could be IOT that's driving it, it could be transfer, it could be self created, It's coming in. We're organizing it, Or potentially, and then storing it, analyzing it, and then as we talked about earlier, trying to drive an automated outcome of the data. And that first step of really having classification taxonomy.

So you have a very clear roadmap to how does that have to actually apply to the movement through that life cycle. That's the, you know, the critical first step that we'll spend a lot of time with customers.

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: OK, great Tyson and maybe it's time for one last question. How does an organization assess its readiness for cloud and maybe a part two to that is work in service help?

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Sure.

So, if you think about, kind of, the four foundational elements of, you know, are we ready to move, right? You have to take a look at one. What, what is your current technology posture. And, you know, are there things, for example, that you would look at the environment and say, no. We either want to modernize it, we want to deprecate it or we want to transform. Right. And one of a number of different ways that we can look at that, the second one, is, you know, thinking through your economic models.

When you're moving into cloud, you know, you're potentially spending in a different pattern and in a different kind of internal accounting classification you have before. So has the organization kind of been exposed to what that would look like? And kind of prepared to handle the, if you will, the bookkeeping on what would look like for you. Know, a third one is starting to think about your practitioner readiness and Harshad mentioned this earlier, know, you have a lot of these skills that have been built up over the year, Very talented, rich teams. And so, this idea that I have kind of a roadmap for, what do we have now versus, what do we think we will need, at least initially, for foundations in Cloud And, do you really kinda get ourselves bootstrapped and started?

How do I have to kind of prepare my teams for that? 

And then I think the fourth really important element in here is, is, you know, having having a clear set of outcomes. You're trying to drive, you know, cloud is a place. It's really a journey and so on, so much a destination. and so it's really important.

As we saw with Trimac, you know, we had an objective. We had a set of business objectives that we are really the drivers for why cloud made sense for us, scale up scale down. Risk reduction, flexibility, you know, all these different kinds of things that made building a solution over there a much better choice for us than trying to do it somewhere else.

And the short answer to your question on how can Xerris help?

One of the things that we do as part of our practices is we have any one of a number of elements that we can deliver on cloud kind of cloud assessments, so that could be architectural assessments. That could be incumbency review for, you know, existing applications or technologies that can go through a practitioner evaluation learning needs assessment. There's a whole bunch of different elements that are in there. But the way we normally start is with a cloud migration assessment.

And that's the place where those four elements that I talked about come to life where we start to look and say what is going to be required And you know, ultimately, how can we help inform the business case to do so?

Bill Boora, Principle Specialist, Application Modernization, AWS: Awesome, thanks Tyler and Harshad, this was a great discussion. We learned about some of the business challenges impacting trimac, that led to a decision to, to move to the cloud and do things differently. We heard about, you, know, the need for building up skill set and getting confidence of the traumatic team, Xerris coming in, and not just coming in and doing a little bit of consulting, but really embedding yourselves as part of the team. But enabling, Trimac to roll you off and continue moving forward. And we've, we've got a really good direction in terms of where customers might want to go around microservices, event driven, really to build out the scalable, more SAAS like application. So excited about what's coming up next. If you're an attendee on this webinar, feel free to reach out with questions. As mentioned, the session is recorded and will also be shared along to you as well as some resources. If you get a chance to check out the Trimac case study with Xerris on the dispatch application, it's a, it's a great read, and give you a good idea of how that application was transformed.

So thanks again, everyone, for joining today.

Tyson Koopman, Sr. Vice President, North American Sales, Xerris: Thank you, Bill, for Hosting and Harsher. And thank you for being a wonderful customer and for sharing your story.

Harshad Haron, Director, Digital Transformation & Data Engineering, Trimac Transportation: Anytime. Thanks.

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